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L.A. Galaxy Ready for MLS’s Second Season

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By Jon Gaede, BVN Sports –

The Los Angeles Galaxy completed their 30 game regular season on Sunday night with a league leading 18 victories as they secured home field advantage in the playoffs.

The race for the 15th MLS Cup will begin for the Galaxy on Sunday as they travel to Washington to play the Seattle Sounders. The winners of the Eastern and Western MLS conferences will play in the MLS Cup Final on November 21st in Toronto.

This years divisional playoff system has the clubs playing each other twice in a home and home format. The aggregate score in total goals will determine who advances. The Galaxy will host their second playoff game, at home against Seattle on Sunday, November 7th.

In recent years, the personality of the Galaxy has featured Landon Donovan (Redlands East Valley H.S.) as their team captain and center- piece. David Beckham’s arrival helped take some of that pressure off Donovan, however, due to injuries and roster changes, the Galaxy has had a few disappointing seasons.

This year figured to be difficult with the expected World Cup interruption in South Africa. That makes the rise of Edson Buddle, all the more remarkable. USA National Team coach Bob Bradley was so impressed with Buddle’s ability to score goals, that he made him a late add to the U.S. squad.

Buddle joined established forwards Jozy Altidore, Robbie Findley and Hercules Gomez on the squad.

The Los Angeles Galaxy club had two objectives against Dallas on Sunday. One, to secure home field advantage for the conference playoffs and two, to help Edson Buddle score a goal or two and win MLS’s ‘Golden Boot’ award as the leagues top goal scorer.

On a misty evening at the Home Depot Center, the Galaxy did play with intensity throughout the match. Down one goal to FC Dallas in the first half, David Beckham stood about 25 yards out and called for the ball. As Landon Donovan fed the ball in, Beckham ripped it passed the keeper to tie the game.

As the rain continued to fall during the second half, the pitch became a little sloppy. Several players went down and coach Bruce Arena hoped the club could manage a victory without an injury.

That wish was granted as Juninho blasted home the game winner from about 20 yards out. The end to end play was fairly intense until the final whistle. The Galaxy earned home field advantage for the first two rounds of the MLS playoffs.

Unfortunately, the objective of getting Edson Buddle the opportunity to win the ‘Golden Boot’ did not happen. Buddle simply didn’t get many touches on the ball.

Dallas is a well coached club with few weaknesses. It is certain that they anticipated the Buddle scenario and defensed him well.

Edson Buddle’s remarkable season of 17 MLS goals and World Cup selection is a season that most professionals would envy. A successful playoff run and a ‘2010 MLS Cup’ in Toronto, would certainly cap Buddle’s year. A career for many.

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